In Robert's Rules of Poker, section 15 (Tournaments), rule 16, it says:
- New players to a table as a result of balancing tables are dealt in immediately unless they are in the small blind or button position, where they must wait until the button has passed to the player on their left.
This rule is observed by my local club and all casinos I have visited, but I don't fully understand the reasoning behind it.
The situation regularly occurs when the Small Blind has just been eliminated, and the tables are balanced. An incoming player sits in the eliminated Small Blind's seat (which is always the next Button position), but does not get a hand.
(To avoid any confusion, I'm not asking about the situation where an incoming player sits at an open seat that did not get dealt a hand in the previous deal. If a player sits down in an open seat between the previous Button and Small Blind seats then the button advances normally to the previous SB position, past the incoming player.)
In the quoted rule, I can understand why the Small Blind position is not dealt in, but not the Button position. Dealing the Button a hand would not affect the blinds in any way. Can anyone offer an explanation for why the button position is not allowed to have a hand?